Why your Heating System’s Maintenance is so Important

Heating Oil is still in full swing and as we continue to go through heating oil season, it’s important to ensure that your heating system is working properly. Your heating oil system is a key player in keeping your home warm during the winter. Although with rising prices in oil filling your tank might not be in your budget at the moment. System maintenance is very important for your home heating.

If you’re this late into heating oil season, then I’m sure that you’ve got a system tune-up by now. This is something that should be done annually to ensure that your heating system is in prime condition to heat your home.

System Maintenance Advice

It’s important that before you schedule your tune-up, you change your air filters. If you have an oil furnace you must replace these filters at least once every year. Pet owners should especially clean these out often as pet hair and dust can clog these filters making it very hard for air to properly flow through your system. If you need help replacing your air filters, we have a brief guide on how to replace them in this post.

This is a prime example of why changing out these air filters is so important. The left filter has dust, dander, and other allergens mixed into the filter. You can probably imagine how hard it is for air to cleanly pass through these filters. However, the filter on the left is a brand-new filter that is ready to be installed.

What is in a Heating System Tune Up and What is it?

A heating oil tune-up is when the heating oil system is being looked at by an HVAC technician. They are mostly looking to repair anything in your system that might be a possible issue in the future or anything that needs a replacement.

HVAC technicians will often look at major areas of your heating system. He will also replace anything that needs to a replaced during the tune-up. Some examples of these include:

  • The Supply Line: The first place that your HVAC technician will check is your supply line. This is to ensure that there is oil traveling through it from the tank. They will also check to make sure that there is no sludge in the feed lines.
  • The Filter and Strainer: The filter and strainer are important parts of your heating system. They can also be some of the dirtiest. The filter will often fill up with oil and it will need a replacement. The filter will normally always get a replacement during a tune-up, simply due to how disgusting it can get. If the filter fails or becomes too dirty, the strainer will usually act as a secondary filter. Anything that the filter doesn’t catch, the strainer will.
  • The Nozzle: There is a nozzle in your burner that is part of the conversion process. Before the oil can be converted into heat, it must be automatized by the nozzle. This is a common part of your burner that often gets a replacement. Some electrodes are connected to the nozzle that will ignite the automatized fuel into heat. These electrodes will also often receive replacements if needed.

Additionally, while those are the main parts of the furnace that will often see replacements, a standard tune-up will often cover the following:

  • Checking the Belts
  • Checking the CAD cell eye, the electrodes and the fan controls
  • Changing out the filters
  • Checking and Cleaning the fuel pump’s strainer
  • Checking the the heat exchanger and performing a combustion efficiency test
  • Replacing the burner’s nozzle
  • Replacing the oil filter
  • Performing a vacuum test on the oil line
  • Inspecting the oil tank, oil fitting and oil safety valve
  • Clean and check the flue pipe
  • Test the pump’s pressure, solenoid valve, and stack relay
  • Check the thermostat
During the system’s tune-up, the technician will usually remove the access panel to access the burner. As shown in the above photo, you’ll see that the combustion panel is located behind the black panel.

The Importance of Annual Heating System Maintenance

Annual Heating maintenance is very important to ensure your system is working properly. The HVAC technician must remove the flue pipe. The reasoning for this is because of immense soot build-up. This can not only back up the system and harm its efficiency, but it can be very hazardous.

This is an example of what happens when there is a large build-up of soot. The flue pipe can get filled with it and will usually have to be cleaned out with a shop vacuum. But after cleaning this out, the furnace will run more efficiently. Keeping on top of your heating system will help the system run properly and not become overfilled with soot.

Your Annual HVAC Maintenance

Regardless of whether you decide to opt for a service contract or not, getting a tune-up at least once a year is super important. But when you do this, make sure that you hire a trusted, licensed, and ensured HVAC contractor. There are a lot of HVAC technicians that aren’t qualified for this type of work. Do ample research before you go for a cheap price!

While you’re at it, you should make sure that you top off your oil tank to make sure that you have a full tank! You can order heating oil online by using our FuelSnap website. Make sure that you fill up around a quarter of a tank to prevent running out!

Happy Heating,